How Christians Can Help Puerto Rico, Mexico Rise Up After Hurricane and Earthquake
Rev. Sam Rodriguez is partnering with Convoy of Hope to launch a faith-led initiative that will equip local churches in Puerto Rico and Mexico.
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) President Sam Rodriguez and Convoy of Hope spokesman Jeff Nene joined Wednesday to announced a faith-led response to the devastation in Puerto Rico and Mexico. The effort focuses on enabling local churches to help affected communities.
Central Mexico was devastated by a 7.1 earthquake on September 19. The death toll is creeping toward 400 as rescue missions amid rubble continue.
Only a day later, Hurricane Maria crashed into Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane. Its 150 mph winds razed most of the island. Many are stranded without food, water, electricity or other vital supplies.
Rodriguez, a Stream contributor and president of the Hispanic Evangelical Association, was raised in Puerto Rico and has a Mexican son-in-law. “This is personal as personal can possibly get,” he said.
Puerto Rico and Mexico Rise Up
Rodriguez went on to announce the launch of PuertoRicoandMexicoRiseUp.org. Its purpose is “equipping and restoring churches in Mexico and Puerto Rico so they can restore their respective communities,” he said.
The initiative is fueled by the NHCLC’s partnership with Convoy of Hope. The Christian non-profit sends relief to disaster areas worldwide.
Rodriguez and Nene both emphasized that helping local churches in Mexico and in Puerto Rico was the best way to make a difference.
“The local church is there to stay,” even after relief teams from organizations like Convoy of Hope have gone, Nene said.
Three Ways We Can Help
Rodriguez asked church leaders to support the effort in three ways:
First, donate financially to Convoy of Hope.
Nene said a team is on the ground in Puerto Rico and another is arriving in Mexico today. In Puerto Rico, the team has “already started pulling together warehousing, already purchased 20,000 pounds of rice” with another 20,000 pounds on the way, he said.
“Sometimes people want to give things,” Nene went on. But “by giving financially, we can get so much more in terms of supplies into the hands” of those on the ground.
He added that it usually costs $6,000 to fill a Convoy of Hope tractor trailer with supplies for a devastated area. For Puerto Rico and Mexico that number could be slightly higher.
On PuertoRicoandMexicoRiseUp.org, people can find links to donate to Convoy of Hope’s Mexico relief effort, its Puerto Rico effort or its general fund.
Second, Rodriguez asks churches to help provide generators to Puerto Rico.
“The entire island was dark, just a couple specks of light here and there,” Nene said of the scene when he left the island recently. The U.S. territory’s power grid was already weak, but “this storm just decimated it,” he said.
Bishop Angel Marcial of the Church of God for the Southeast Region of the U.S. is coordinating the effort to provide generators. To help him, click here. Or, find the link on Puerto Rico and Mexico Rise Up’s homepage.
Finally, Rodriguez asks churches to adopt one church in Puerto Rico and one Mexico.